It’s time for Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. The bush beans are setting on here and made several appearances last week. They were a welcome addition to our harvests, with a promise of more to come. I’m growing a short row of Derby beans, my favorite round podded green bush bean. Many of these got tossed with olive oil and roasted in a cast iron skillet. The pole beans are just now starting to bloom and it won’t be long before the early ones are ready. I like to plant a few bush beans to give us early beans, and the last couple of years I’ve been replanting in early August to give us a second crop in the same space. That strategy of planting runner/pole beans plus two crops of bush beans gave us 50 pounds of beans last year, which certainly kept us well supplied!
Cherry tomatoes are producing well now, and I even oven roasted a few of them last week. I also dehydrate them when we have a lot, but we’re not quite there yet. It’s a mix of Sun Sugar, Sunpeach, Jasper and Fire Fly in this batch, and we enjoyed them on salads and fish tacos last week.
One new cherry tomato I’m growing here this year is called Cherry Bomb. It’s a late blight-resistant hybrid that also has the crimson gene which makes for a deeper red color and a higher lycopene content. All that is great, but what really got me with this one is the flavor. It’s sweet with a rich, full classic tomato flavor. I sampled my first one out in the garden (and my second one), and the ‘wow’ factor reminded me a lot of the first time I tasted a Sun Gold tomato. Unlike Sun Gold though, Cherry Bomb is larger and none of mine are splitting. We ate most of these babies as a snack, and I can’t wait for more to ripen. For more information on this variety, Johnny’s tomato breeder Emily Rose Haga has a Youtube video that serves as a great introduction. I’ll be growing this one again for sure.
I also got the first ripe slicing tomatoes last week, a couple each of Perfect Flame and Chef’s Choice Orange. We enjoyed those on sandwiches, and by themselves. I lost a few of the earliest ones to rot, but with drier weather they are looking better now and more should be ripe soon.
The squashes and cucumber are producing enough for us to eat and some to give away. I gave a couple of the white Itachi cucumbers to our friend Ange, and I didn’t realize one of them was going to be on TV the next day (at 1:26 in video)! Itachi has a mild flavor and tender skin, which makes it useful in the kitchen as well as visually striking. A cucumber with a white skin is somewhat unusual to say the least, though some heirloom varieties have certainly been around for years. The green cucumbers are Corinto, a greenhouse type I’ve been growing for several years. The striped yellow zucchini Sunstripe is also nice to look at and a colorful addition to our meals.
We spiralized some of the green and yellow zucchinis along with a carrot to make a side dish for dinner one night. The veggies are sauteed briefly in olive oil, just long enough to soften a bit and then we added some of our fresh basil. We had more spiralized zucchini on Saturday night as a base for a bolognese red sauce.
It was a summery harvest in the below photo with blackberries, more Derby beans and two kinds of summer squash. The blackberries and blueberries are slowing down now but we’ve had lots of them to eat and to freeze for later use.
I finished digging the garlic last week. I won’t know exactly how well it all did until it’s cured and I weigh it, but it appears to have done reasonably well given the wet growing conditions this spring. That said, it will be one crop I’m scaling back on next year. I plan on growing perhaps 40 or 50 bulbs of ones I really like, and buying storage garlic (silverskin types) when that runs out. I need to remind myself I don’t need to grow everything, and garlic is one example of that.
It was not a great year for cabbage here, with many heads rotting before they got big and the rest never really sizing up like they should. I pulled a few that were usable and the rest went on the compost pile as I prepped that bed for a fall crop of turnips and radishes. All of the napa cabbages rotted, but I’ll try them again this fall when they generally do better anyway.
I did have enough cabbage to make a few jars of Garlicky Dill Pickle Kraut. To the sliced cabbage I added several chopped pickling cucumbers, a bit of chopped onion, about 8-10 cloves of the fresh minced garlic, dill seeds and 3% salt. I will let it ferment for a couple of weeks before refrigerating.
Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to share, add your name and blog link to Mr Linky below. And be sure and check out what everyone is harvesting!